LifeSize Offers Disruptive Price on Video Broadcast Services

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Video conferencing upstart LifeSize has shaken up video conferencing leaders Cisco and Polycom with value-pricing targeted at small and midsize businesses. Now LifeSize is taking its value pricing to video broadcasting for webinars, corporate communications and distant learning applications.

LifeSize, the value-based video conferencing telepresence upstart, is now offering a streaming video system for broadcast-like streaming capabilities but without the cost of installing a whole video studio.

The system requires a LifeSize end point system be used to create the video, enabling the encoding to be performed at that client, leaving the server appliance free to stream video down to multiple end user viewers.
The $29,999 system includes the LifeSize Video Center server and software. The customer also must have at least one LifeSize end point and must buy a one-year support agreement.

The LifeSize Video Center is a server based on Intel multicore processors and is a purpose-built appliance that runs a Linux kernel.

The core market for the system is corporate communications departments, educational institutions and corporate training departments.

"If you were to look at a contract for (Cisco) WebEx or (Citrix) GoToMeeting, companies pay tens of thousands of dollars per month to use those services," Michael Helmbrecht, director of product management at LifeSize, tells Channel Insider. "With this, you don't have to pay fees for outside services to do this for you."

Ultimately, he says, there may be hosting companies that offer an outsourced version of the product. For those who can't wait that long, LifeSize has partnered with a third party finance company to create leasing agreements for those whose capital budget may not allow for $30,000 in upfront costs.

The server and software includes a portal server, an HD streaming system and an automatic publishing solution.

"Midmarket  companies or educational institutions are less likely to have their own broadcast studios," says Helmbrecht. "They are more likely to use webinars."

LifeSize says its Video Center device can support receiving content from up to 20 endpoints in HD and 40 endpoints in VGA quality. And that’s just the receiving end. Broadcast endpoints are 1,000 simultaneous live streams and up to 350 simultaneous on-demand streams in 720p30 HD video, the company says.

LifeSize’s Video Center is available in May.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com